10 Uber Hacks to Save You Money on Rides

Uber app in a phone with money
Jennifer Bui/Thrillist

The convenience of flagging down a car directly from your iPhone and getting picked up in a comfy ride, instead of a raggedy-ass yellow taxi, is game changing. But it's also a little too easy, and more than likely you've noticed your credit card is taking a massive hit as Uber racks up those charges.
But you can stop the financial bleeding by taking heed to these money-saving tips. Here are 10 Uber hacks to keep extra moolah in your pockets on your next trip.

hailing an uber on facebook messenger

Hail a cab on FB Messenger and get a discount

Didn’t even know this was a thing, did you? The partnership between Facebook and Uber has opened the lane for users to hail a cab directly from their messaging thread. First download the FB Messenger app. Open a new message and click the More option (the ellipses symbol at the bottom right-hand corner). You’ll see the Transportation tab and then connect to your Uber account. First-time Uber-ers will get a $20 credit applied to their account.

what's the fare website compares uber prices
Couresty of What’s The Fare

Compare prices with What's the Fare

Desperate times call for desperate financial measures. So whether you're just looking for the best price offers amongst all four Uber services (uberX, uberXL, UberBLACK, UberSUV) or scoping out competitor fees from Lyft and local taxis, What’s the Fare provides the best estimate options. Just punch in the pickup/drop-off and the site runs the calculations from there.

Take advantage of promo codes for new users

Fact: Uber never offers coupons or discounts to regular subscribers. Only new riders get to bank on these special promotions. So for you newbies out there, consider visiting the company’s promo page, sign up, and use the designated $20+ coupon code for your next trip into the city. 

uber and capital one
Courtesy of Uber

Get 20% off rides with a Capital One card

Capital One partnered up with Uber to give those with a Capital One Quicksilver card a 20% credit on their statement for every ride they charge. Signing up will also warrant you two free rides, if you're joining Uber for the first time. But act fast since the offer is only good 'til the end of April 2016.

Earn credit by bitching to Uber

Cab drivers can be reckless and unpredictable. If you have an atrocious or unsafe ride, don’t hesitate to contact Uber support and report the grievance. More than likely a reimbursement via credit will be issued if they feel the complaint is valid. Just keep your email professional. Or threaten to jump on Lyft, which works nine times out of 10.

cut the surge app to lower uber prices
Courtesy of Cut The Surge

Or use the Cut the Surge app

Then again, waiting is for suckers. Apps like Cut the Surge are designed to give users the inside track, predicting Uber rates within the hour and informing you when it's the best time to summon a car without paying any inflated fees. The app is free on iOS (sorry Android). 

Use the "Split Fare" feature with friends

The convenience of uberPOOL has made it super easy to share the cost of a ride. Only problem is not everyone is down to get in a car with strangers. Those who prefer the company of friends can use the Split Fare feature, which divvies up the expenses amongst the crowd. Request a ride, select the Split Fare option at the bottom of the screen, and enter the names or phone numbers of the other riders. They’ll get a notification to accept their share of the damage.

man hails an uber on iphone
Flickr/Mark Warner

Look for rides in different locations

Catching a taxi during peak hours blows, as neighborhoods with a high demand always incur surge pricing. Still, you can get lucky scoring a ride at the standard rate by traveling outside of the congested radius. This could be anywhere from a block to a mile depending where you're at. Try stepping further out from your current location and pin down a new pickup spot. It just might save you some extra greenbacks.

Create a second Uber account

As we’ve stressed already, discounts are only warranted to new riders. One way around this is by signing up for a second Uber account to earn the $20 voucher (use the FLY promo code). After using it, submit a request to cancel the new membership. But know that Uber has final say depending on your excuse. Nonetheless, if they decline, just disregard its existence and use your original one from there on out.

Refer everyone you know to get free rides

Rally up friends, family members, Bumble or Tinder hookups, basically anyone you know and shoot them an Uber referral if they aren’t already signed up. Your reward will be a $15 credit for every person who joins the service. Though word on the web is Uber keeps tabs on your activity and will ban you if the number of referrals gets out of hand. So like your sex partners, learn to play it safe by keeping things to a minimum.

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Alex Bracetti is a contributor to Thrillist, ComplexHOOP, Man of Many, and several others. Follow him on Twitter: @AlexBracetti.